GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Medical marijuana has come to Grand Rapids.
TheMid-Michigan Compassion Club opened its office on Front Street,just south of the Sixth Street bridge, Monday. It's not a clinic,and it's not a doctor's office in the traditional sense.
For $200, patients can meet with a doctor who will review theirmedical documentation to see if they meet the criteria in the lawthat allows medical marijuana for medical use.
Michigan's medical marijuana law was passed by voters in 2008and went into effect April 2009.
The organization originally wanted to start out as a club, andset up an office later, but said it had a hard time gettingapproval to operate as such in a number of West Michigancities.
The Grand Rapids office doesn't look like much, just a receptionarea and small room for doctor and patient.
Medical doctors have also been reluctant to authorize marijuanafor medical use. The compassion club has hired a physician fromGreenville, who we discovered had his license suspended at one timefor "mental or physical inability to practice medicine."
The doctor declined to appear on camera but the clinic'sdirector defended him, saying even Monday, he turned down somepatients. "Our goal is to look at people and what they're doingtoday, what they're doing tomorrow, not what they did in the past,what they're doing for society today," said David Overholt.
The doctor doesn't write a script for marijuana. It is up to thepatient to find the drug though channels outlined in the law.
The Mid Michigan Compassion Club will assist patients in thateffort, including identification of a caregiver, who can grow anddistribute the drug under the law.
One man told 24 Hour News 8 he is overjoyed the office hasopened. He takes care of a sick nephew with a painful anddebiliating case of Chrohns Disease.
The facility is located in Suite 120 in the Riverfront Buildingat 678 Front Ave. NW. A physician will be there on Mondays andTuesdays. You can call (989) 690-2222 for appointment times.Walk-ins are welcome.
The group already has an office at 1042 Sidney Rd. inStanton.
And a third separate office opened, the first in West Michigan,in February in Kalamazoo. TheMichigan Holistic Health Center operates from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.Monday through Friday at 500 W. Crosstown Parkway.
Marijuana use is still against federal law, anduntil that changes, insurance companies will not cover fees likethe $200 charge at the clinic.
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